Monday, 2 November 2009

Dunlins

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This weekend turned out to be sunny and hot again, and we decided to head out to Severn beach . Severn beach is known for its Dunlins and sure enough there was a flock hanging around.   

SONY DSC The last time I went there I still had my point and shoot bridge camera and as a result my pictures were blurred and noisy.

SONY DSC This time, armed with my Sony A200 dSLR and Minolta 500mm f8 lens, I was counting on getting much better images.

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The Dunlins although looking very attractive in these images, are quite well camouflaged and hard to pick out amidst the rocks and mud.

SONY DSC The Dunlins are among the more common small waders found in England. SONY DSC In spring and summer, they have a dark patch on their bellies which is distinctive. Their slightly downturned beaks and fat shape are also worth noting.

SONY DSC In winter they lose all the streaks on their bellies and flanks and become harder to identify.

SONY DSC The bill length varies between sexes, with the females having longer bills than the males.

SONY DSC They have a characteristic "sewing machine" feeding action, by which they pick out small food items. Their feed includes small crustaceans, insects , molluscs and worms.

SONY DSCThey are gregarious birds and can be seen in feeding flocks formed with other birds such as plovers as seen in the picture above.

  


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